Seen by many as an arcane art, “design for print” is certainly a complex topic.
It’s not just about putting pretty pictures in Word and expecting a printer to do all the hard work – getting the process correct from the outset is paramount.
I use the latest industry-standard software to create digital documents that are reliable to print, and yield expected results.
Proofing to the client is typically by Adobe PDF files via email, with final prepress proofs if the scale of the work demands them.
If I’m asked to procure print services I use a small group of suppliers with whom I have worked for many years, and trust implicitly. In these cases my suppliers invoice the customer directly. I levy a modest handling fee if I am required to manage the job from design to delivery.
World wide artwork
A recent substantial project was the provision of numerous language versions of the Graco European product catalogue – in English, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Greek. To do this sensibly, old artwork was extensively re-engineered with a software product that worked well with unicode fonts – a fact critical to the requirement for non-English characters. An intensive working schedule was agreed in order to meet production slots arranged months in advance. The finished files were retrieved via my web server by the printer in Belgium: ahead of time, and in glitch-free condition!
Typically, commercial full-colour print is made up from four colours: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Increasingly it’s just as cost effective to go for full-colour print rather than being limited to one or two so-called “spot” colours. This is because modern workflows are geared toward full-colour handling, and since set-up costs can be heavy it doesn’t make sense to work outside the norm.